Stephanie Cox: ‘Faith in Christ Makes My Role as an Athlete More Meaningful’ (Gospel Light Minute #211)

Stephanie Cox
Stephanie Cox

She is a Mexican-American retired professional soccer defender and Olympic gold medalist. She attended the University of Portland, where she started 23 matches her freshman year. In 2005, after returning to the Pilots following a redshirt season to play for the US, Stephanie helped lead her team to an undefeated record of 23-0-2 and an NCAA Championship and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team. She most recently played for the Seattle Reign FC of the National Women’s Soccer League in 2013 and the United States women’s national soccer team. Prior to that she played for the Los Angeles Sol and the Boston Breakers.

She said of her faith, “I became a Christian at the ripe young age of four. As my mom tells the story, after watching a Christian kids’ TV show, I asked my mom if I was going to heaven. She told me how Jesus came to save us and to bring us to God. I asked Jesus into my heart and ever since then I have been a Christian.

“With this young faith I sometimes doubted if my salvation was for real because I couldn’t really remember my ‘moment’ of salvation. But over time I have matured and come to believe confidently that I am Christ’s. There is no doubt in my mind that my heart belongs to Him and that my life is in His service.

“I think this certainty came along with my clarity about what role soccer was playing in my life. During high school, soccer seemed like it was in competition with my relationship with God. I had to miss church and youth group events because of my soccer commitments. I really struggled with this and felt like I was choosing soccer over God.

“When I got to college I met other Christian athletes who showed me a different way. They were great examples and encouragement to me in showing me that you could use your sport to glorify God. We did miss a lot of church, but I found that with my Christian teammates I had community around me that could encourage me in my faith and keep me accountable.

“Now I see my role on the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team as encouraging other Christians and girls on the team to pursue their own relationships with God. We occasionally meet during camp for Bible study to talk about Bible passages and what God is doing in our lives. I want the other girls to know, like I know, that God can use our roles as athletes to bring Him glory. How we behave as teammates when things are going tough or when we may not be playing, is in direct correlation to our faith and how much we want to show His love to others. My faith in Christ has made my role as an athlete so much more meaningful. It is more than wins and losses, X’s and O’s; it is about loving others and showing them Christ.”

She has assisted her parents in leading a group of teens to Egypt to paint an orphanage, traveled to the Bahamas to clear land for construction of a learning center, traveled to Mexico to serve meals to American missionaries, and was part of a team that created a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser in 2005. She recently became a spokesperson for Casey Family Services, the country’s largest foster care organization.

Her name is Stephanie Cox.

This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Stephanie Cox gave her life to Christ, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:

1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.

2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!

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